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How to know what devices to test?

Eleonora Grigane

QA Specialist

May 23, 2024

3 min read

The Challenge of Device Testing

In the world of web development, ensuring your website works seamlessly across a multitude of devices is no small feat. For many web agencies, deciding which devices to prioritize for Quality Assurance (QA) testing can be particularly challenging, especially when working with limited scope and resources. Let’s delve into practical strategies that can help streamline your testing process and make the most of your resources, drawing from my years of experience in QA.

The variety of devices and browsers today creates an overwhelming array of testing scenarios. From various screen sizes and operating systems to different browser versions, the permutations can quickly become unmanageable. Given tight deadlines and finite resources, it’s essential to focus on the most impactful configurations. The main objective is to provide an application that can test projects on specific browsers or mobile devices that aren't available to the team. Typically, most team members cover 80% of cross-browser and cross-device mixes between OS (Linux, Mac, Windows) and Browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari).

💡By focusing your efforts where they matter most, you can optimize your testing process and deliver high-quality web experiences to your users.

Prioritizing Devices: A Strategic Approach

1. Utilize Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an invaluable tool for understanding your audience and deciding which devices to prioritize for testing. It provides detailed insights into your website’s traffic sources, helping you focus your efforts on the devices and browsers your users are actually using.

Steps to Identify Key Devices Using Google Analytics:

  1. Access Google Analytics: Log in and navigate to the "Audience" section.

  2. Explore Device Data: Under "Audience," go to "Mobile" and then "Overview." This section provides a breakdown of traffic by device category (desktop, mobile, tablet).

  3. Drill Down Further: Click on "Devices" for a detailed report on the specific devices your visitors use.

  4. Identify the Top 80%: Focus on the devices that account for roughly 80% of your traffic. This approach ensures that your testing covers the majority of your user base efficiently.

Example: Suppose your analytics reveal that 70% of your traffic comes from mobile devices, primarily iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones, while 20% comes from desktop browsers like Chrome and Safari. This data helps you prioritize these devices for testing.

2. Consider Market Trends

In addition to your own data, it’s essential to stay informed about broader market trends. Websites like StatCounter and W3Counter provide up-to-date statistics on global device and browser usage. This information can help you anticipate which devices are gaining popularity and ensure your testing strategy is future-proof.

Example: If StatCounter indicates a rising trend in the use of a new Android device, it might be wise to include that device in your testing plan, even if it hasn’t yet appeared prominently in your own analytics.

3. Prioritize Based on User Demographics

Different user demographics may favor different devices. Understanding your target audience’s preferences can significantly inform your testing priorities. For example, a younger audience might predominantly use the latest smartphones, while an older audience might prefer desktops or tablets.

Example: Context is everything. A website targeting professionals might prioritize desktop browsers like Chrome and Edge, while an entertainment site for teenagers might focus on testing the latest iPhones and Android devices.

4. Test on Common Browsers

Regardless of the device, ensuring compatibility with the most common browsers—Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge—is crucial. These browsers cover the majority of user preferences and help in maintaining a consistent user experience.

Conclusion

Identifying which devices to test can be a daunting task, but with the right strategy, it becomes manageable. By leveraging Google Analytics, staying updated on market trends, understanding your user demographics, focusing on common browsers, and using cloud-based testing platforms, you can prioritize your QA efforts effectively. This strategic approach not only optimizes your testing process but also ensures your website delivers a seamless experience to the majority of your users. By focusing on the most impactful devices, you can make the most of your resources and keep your clients happy.

Eleonora Grigane

QA Specialist

May 23, 2024

3 min read

How to know what devices to test?
How to know what devices to test?

Ralfs J. Gaigulis

COO at HiQality

Are you considering introducing or improving QA practices in your operations? Make sure you get it right with our team of QA experts by your side. Reach out for a free consultation by using the contact form below!

Are you considering introducing or improving QA practices in your operations? Make sure you get it right with our team of QA experts by your side. Reach out for a free consultation by using the contact form below!

Interested in manual QA?
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Interested in manual QA?
Let us know!

Interested in manual QA?
Let us know!

Interested in manual QA?
Let us know!

Interested in manual QA?
Let us know!

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